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tv   News  Al Jazeera  October 6, 2015 8:00pm-9:01pm EDT

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>> hi everyone, this is al jazeera america. i'm john seigenthaler. admissions. >> to be clear the decision to provide aerial fires was an u.s. decision made within the u.s. chain of command. >> clearing the fog of war but not the questions. the u.s. now says the airstrike on an afghan hospital was a mistake. state of emergency, dams break lives lost. new fears from catastrophic
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flooding. undrinkable. >> the only thing that changed was the water source. >> dangerous amounts of lead changing one community's water supply. mob boss turned convict. the real whitey bulger. >> and we begin on a deadly airstrike on doctors without borders in afghanistan. 22 people including children were killed. who was responsible. questions were deflected. there were denials. the days went by without an answer. and then they admitted that the u.s. ordered the attack and called it a mistake.
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>> good evening, john, you're right. after four days of shifting explanations, the top military in afghanistan put it plainly. the u.s. military was to blame on the attack in northern afghanistan, but general john campbell is making headlines for another part of his testimony. he's openly promoting a change to the president's plan to withdraw all of america's forces by the end of next year. >> a hospital was mistakenly struck. >> it was a stark admission by the top command center afghanistan. who left no doubt who gave the green light to attack a hospital that killed 22. >> the decision to fire aerial fires was an u.s. decision made within the u.s. change of command. >> even before accepting plane, general john campbell said a perfect gone investigation is going forward with preliminary findings expected in 30 days, but that was cold comfort for
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doctors without borders the group that operated the hospital. it's president wrote in part, nothing can excuse violence against patienc patients, medical workers and health providers. this attack cannot be brushed aside as a mere mistake oh or an inevitable part of war. in 2014 president obama vowed to complete the draw down of troops by end of next year. >> we have to accept that afghanistan will not an perfect place. it is not america's responsibility to make it one. >> but two campbell told congress the afghan army still can't secure the country without u.s. help, and he openly called for u.s. troops to stay beyond the president's deadline. >> we believed we would need a counter terrorism capability, and you need a certain amount of forces to be able too do that.
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>> top afghan leader wants the u.s. military to remain. even as he said afghan forces are reversussing taliban gains. >> in maining support and sustaining support for afghan forces is more evidence. >> the president is weighing his options says his spokesman and the attack on the hospital will be part that have calculation. >> of course, incidents on the ground including high profile incidents and what they say about the relative strength or weakness of the afghan security forces will have an impact on the president's decision. >> an john, the white house said that the white house is considering the options among them those presented by general campbell but he's going to be talking with intelligence chiefs, personnel and diplomats if he decides to keep troops longer. >> so doctors without borders, calling it a war crime at one
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point. was that term brought up at the hearing today? >> it wasn't really at the white house they're denying, in fact, it can be termed that. the president put out a statement over the weekend saying he wanted to see the results of the department of investigation. the doctors without borders said that was not good enough. nor is the investigation or afghan army investigation. they want an independent investigation it's not clear whether the united states is going to endorse something like that. general campbell danced around it today. but he does expect the results of a preliminary investigation from the pentagon in 30 days. if he admits blame and said the u.s. chain of command was responsible for giving the green light for the attack why would they apologize now instead of waiting for the end for the results of any investigation? >> thank you. an isn't secretary of defense, senior fell low at the center of american progress, he's also in washington tonight.
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what was your reaction to this hearing today, what you heard from the general? >> well, i'm glad that he did admit it was an u.s. mistake because previously he had been saying that our troops have called it in. now it was the afghans that did it. he said it was in the u.s. chain of command. i think that's a step in the right direction. i agree with mike. the president should apologize because we did it, and we killed innocent people that we shouldn't have. >> what does it do to our credibility in the region? >> well, it really undermines it in this sense because of the fact that you kill innocent civilians. these were all afghan civilians, some of whom were patients, you're going to create more support for the taliban. they'll say, well, they're the one who is can protect us and they would never do this. i don't think our motives were corrupt or anything like that,
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but that's not how they perceive it, and you'll create more people who are sympathetic to the taliban. >> we hear that initial description of incidents like this turn out to be wrong. yet we heard three or four different things from government officials in the last several days. why? >> well again, because i think that they were trying to prevent this from undermining the whole effort in afghanistan. that's why. that's one thing i learned when i was in the service or in the pentagon. the first reports in the field you should be dubious about. but here i think they were concerned that this would--that they would act like karzai did. if karzai was still there, he would be all over this thing blaming the u.s. >> is. >> is the u.s. military taking on too much? the united states has been there since 2011, and what has it accomplished?
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>> well, here's the point. general campbell said that we should stay longer look, we spent $65 billion training the afghan security forces. the taliban is not that big. the real question is are they really to fight and die for the government and are they loyal to the central government or to thyratrons? the local police in kunduz, they're corrupt. this was less than a thousand tall began coming in to a city with 7,000 troops. this is the key thing that we gnaw south vietnam, iraq, and we're seeing it here. it doesn't matter how much you train them, do they have a will to die for their country? that's the key thing, no matter how long you stay it will never change. >> after all these years hasn't the u.s. government learned? $65billion to train afghan soldiers who you say have no loyalty to anybody.
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>> well, that's the problems. i think basically we should have recognized this before we decided to rebuild 9 country. we had to get in to get the taliban and al qaeda out, but we should not have taken responsibility for creating a unified afghan state where they never had one. i think we need to recognize after 14 years another six months is not going to make that much difference. >> back to the hospital for a second, you heard doctors without borders call this a war crime. >> well, i don't think it's a war crime. i think it's a mistake. the c-130 does not have gps or anything like that when firing. i don't think they knew that this was a hospital. i think the afghan forces called them in when they responded. but again why did the afghan forces call them in. why did they think that the taliban was there when they
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weren't? >> that's a good question, and one that we hopefully get some answers to. thank you very much. now to syria where fears are growing amid possible air conflicts between washington and the west. in washington they said moscow was ready for another round of talks. but secretary of defense ash carter said that russia is playing with fire. >> this is a wrong and back ended approach that will backfire. and it is not consistent at all with the 60-member coalition is doing, and it's just going to fuel the syrian civil war, and so it's a serious strategic mistake on the part of the russians. >> russian violated air space and no one buys when they say it was accidental.
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today it's a challenge to see how the west will respond. >> russian bombs fall on syria once more. on the ground syrians have been filming and up loading footage that they say shows the work of russia's air force. and the diplomatic fireworks detonating, too, and an incursion into turkish air space over the weekend was called a fleeting mistake caused by bad weather. >> i will not speculate on the motives. >> this is a violation much turkish air space and should never happen again. >> russia is still there. it's carrying out operations in syria and it's trying to create
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an air base in syria, and at the same time they violate our air space. we cannot tolerate this kind of thing. any aggression against turkey is an aggression against nato. >> despite communication last week between russian and u.s. military aimed at avoiding a mishap, washington feels that it is being kept in the dark. nonsense said russian's foreign ministry at a press conference where she criticized the media for an anti-russia reporting campaign. she also said that all they had to do was pick up the phone. >> they can always call us and check everything to allay their concerns and announce accurate and clear testimony in public. even up to these conversations which can take place at any
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moment at the american's request if you still have any concerns you may think about them. but first you should check this with us. >> despite both russia and the u.s.-led coalition insisting that their bombing campaigns are targeting isil, the prospect of anything more than the merest of cooperation looks slim. moscow says that the coalitions campaign is illegal under international law because it was not requested by the syrian government. the coalition says that russian planes are there to prop up a brutal dictate. despite warnings of a significant russian build up in syria, russia is ruling out any boots on the ground. for the moment it says it is content to fight the war from the skies. rory challands. >> richard murphy is in our studio tonight. ambassador, welcome. let's start with what has
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happened. now the russians are involved, and the u.s. and russia are on the verge of a conflict themselves. is this a definition of a quagmire? >> darn close to it, yes. these skies are a little bit crowded right now over syria. the sooner we get to an agreement and understanding with the russians to stay out 67 each other's way, the better. i do think that uneasy warlike war-talk going on we've got something in common by being in syria in terms of getting isil cut back in size and effectiveness. >> something in common yet the united states and russia seem to be at odds like they have been since the cold war. >> well, the russians right now, president putin, is having fun. he stuck his finger right in our eye. made us look foolish,
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ineffective. he's going to fix the whole situation. move decisively. airplanes. some ground unites. >> can he do that? can he succeed where the u.s. has failed? >> i don't think so. and the danger for russia is that he's mobilizing the anger against russia now of the sunni states. and of his own muslim population, which he has had difficulties with over the past. >> that's what he's worried about in many ways. russia is worried about a number of things. but that in particular. >> sure it is. he has seen it as a vulnerability. that's one of the main reasons he has moved into syria. >> it just fans the flames, in your opinion? >> i think it does. his assessment has to be to come in with a bang, a shot in the arm for the bashar al-assad regime, and that's what he's there to support.
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he sees the regime as the only clear way supporting them to fight isil. we don't agree, but i think we've got to work it out with the russians that we meant what we said. in the long term we don't think that regime is going to last, but it's a need to get the syrians together in quickly as possible to work out a new understanding. >> it sounds reasonable what you say, but i suspect there are a lot of american people who listen to what you say and say we spent this money. we have bombed areas. we blew apart iraq, to what end? >> i can understand that. that the president, when he went up for re-election, one of the sources of his pride was, i'm getting us out of the middle east conflicts, and i'm not going to be sucked in to a new
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one. he was right in that, but it hasn't gone as well as he thought it would. we're seeing some of the unhappy consequences of under estimating it. >> i'm looking at the story we did before you sat down. we're looking at afghanistan and the attack that hit the hospital. and what happened since 911 in afghanistan, and what happened in iraq and syria now. >> yes. >> you get the impression that over time not just the bush administration, but the obama administration is dealing with the problem that might not be one that the u.s. can solve. >> well, one of our problems is, as a country we've got this tradition of assuming we can solve any problem that comes at us. this is a tough one. the british used to say about the arab-israeli situation it's not soluble, it's manageable.
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that was a very unamerican approach to the issues. now we're not managing the situation well in iraq. and even with iran on the isil case that we've got to find a way to coordinate our operations. >> thank you. >> president machood abbas said tha--mahmood abbas said that we need to work together. >> the crackdown in the occupied west bank resumed before dawn. the israeli army ran several houses arresting two people in the city of nablis. the resistence was fierce.
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neighbors say it was an act of calculated cruelty given that the attacks happened a year ago. it was described as another illegal act of collective punishment. >> yesterday at midnight army forces came and raided houses aggressively. they started hitting people and ordered us to evacuate immediately from the building without any pre-warning. we just evacuated to the street. >> while in bethlehem the funeral of the 13-year-old who was shot and killed by the israeli army at a nearby refugee camp, his family was adamant there was no protest taking place at the time of the shooting. >> my son went to school like all the other kids, he finished school. he never came home.
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they shot him. there were no clashes under way inside the camps. >> in ramallah protesters dispersed by rubber-coasted steel bullets and tear gas. as demonstration mounts so, too, does political pressure on leader mahmood abbas. there is questions as to the nature of security cooperation with israel. and questions on his own plo actions and if he intends to abandon the ross althoug the oslo accord or not. >> when someone attacks our village what do you expect the reaction to be. leave us alone.
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>> another day of rage. another day of israeli occupation. al jazeera, the up ad west bank. >> the man who he is supposed the nsa program said he would go to prison. snowdon has been living in asylum in russia since 2013. he's facing espionage charges in the united states and could face 30 years in prison. in the broadcast, a break in the weather in south carolina, allowing families devastated by the floods to start sorting out the damage.
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>> in south carolina more than two feet of rain has fallen since friday. the death toll has risen to 15. at least 800 people are still in shelters tonight. more evacuations are likely. paul beben is in columbia, south carolina, paul? >> well, here in columbia today was the first sunny day in almost two weeks. you could feel the collective sigh of relief as the rains stopped. there is so much work yet to be done. there are thousands of people here without power. there are thousands of people
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being told to boil their water and evacuations may still be happying east of ear as a huge search of floodwater continues. the water would have been over my head, and as floodwaters recede here, the extent of the destruction is now just coming clear. >> presbyterian minister larry bates spent the day going through a soggy floor full of debris. family items were set out to dry. the reverend had a foot of water in his living room. but down from his home the water rose over the rooftops. here people are getting back in their homes for the first time since the weekend, and the damage is simply staggering. >> so in this part of columbia this is the neighbor that people
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are calling the encenter. it's just a little neighbor street. but gills creek right behind these home, normally a trickle, has become a torrent. people are spreading theirs lives
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out,. >> meanwhile, reverend bates and friends are trying to take the long view. they opened up a bottle of wine and cleaned up after the flood.
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>> now i'll wash my hair, whatever it is, take food, and resolve that it's time. >> and john, the scene on the street like that is really just so inspiring even amid all the devastation. people are walking up and down the streets with wheel barrels full of bottled water, handing them out to work men and volunteers. contractors are coming to help tear out their kitchens, to help them begin rebuild. as you've been hearing, the floodwaters rolling towards the east coast. it shifts from damage control in that part of the state to recovery here. we'll just keep watching this over the next day or two. >> it will be tough. a long time to recover. thank you very much. search efforts are under way in the caribbean for the containership that disappeared during hurricane joaquin. no survivors have been found. investigators are trying to figure out what went wrong.
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among other factors they're looking at the condition of the ship. and a power failure on board. coming up next, hillary clinton strikes back. her new ad targeting the man likely to become house speaker. unsafe to drink, the water crisis in flint, michigan, leaving children with dangerous amounts of lead in their blood.
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>> hi everyone, in is al jazeera america. i'm john seigenthaler. >> toxic taps. [ chanting no more lies ] >> why people of flint, michigan, are told not to drink the water. hillary clinton releases ads. plus true crime. a new movie about mob boss whitey bulger. fact from fiction. >> a public health emergency is in effect in flint michigan after dangerously high levels of led were found in the drinking
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water. medical experts are instructing the elderly, pregnant women and young children not to drink the water. bisi onile-ere has details. >> go, go, go, you can do it. >> gavin walters is an active four-year-old. but earlier this year, this woman's health took a turn for the worse. >> we noticed whenever he would come in contact with the water in the pool that we had for years his skin would break out in an irritated rash. >> after seeing the doctor, a blood test revealed that gavin had abnormally high levels of lead. her son's immune system was weaked and he weighed just 47 pounds. >> we didn't have this problem. we lived in the south for four years. we never had this problem ever before. the only thing that changed was the water source. >> over the concerns over the taste, smell and appearance of the tap water began to surface
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last year. that's when the cash-strapped city pulled out of the detroit water system and began to tap into a cheaper source, the flint river. >> we are in michigan. we have access to the great lakes. the irony is unbelievable. you expect this in a third world country, but not in michigan. not here. >> the court released this summer, unlike the detroit water the water is corrosive causing pipes to leech lead into tap water. then in late september dr. mona hanna attish from flint's medical center, revealed the results of her study. she found that the percentage of those five years and younger lead levels doubled in the past
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two years. >> the only thing that changed was the water. looking at the levels from 2013 to 2015 it was in 2014 that the water switch happened. that was kind of the biggest thing. >> how dangerous is this? >> it drops your iq about four points. it has significant impact on cognition, behavior, adhd-like symptoms. >> after the report, leaders were addressed the issue, and were faced with protest. >> the city said that the water was safe, but declared the water an emergency october 1st. >> i want to your honor everyone to follow the guidance. test filter and flush. and to take time to understand the facts of the lead problem we're facing. >> the state is spending
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$1 million to supply filters and free water testing. senate senator and flint resident pushing for the state to do more. >> the corrosive controls that should have been in place, and regulators dropped the ball on multiple levels. we would also love to see what happened, how to make sure that it never happens again and find out really, at the heart who is responsible. >> the fact that it has gotten to where it is now means it should never have gotten this far. >> walters and her family have decided to move out of police department, but they're concerned the damage caused to gavin and hundreds of other children has already been done. bisi onile-ere, al jazeera, flint michigan. >> eric mace is city councilman in flint, michigan, and he's on skype tonight. councilman, first of all how have the people in your town reacted to this public health emergency that was declared?
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>> people, some people, they have always been leary because of the discoloration in the water. some had trusted local officials telling them over and over for months that the water was safe. i caught on months ago because eric brakovich sent in her specialist, and now with the report people are taking us seriously. >> the city is handing out water, but what is flint doing to tackle this problem in the long run? >> the councilmen and others said we should immediately go back to detroit water as our source. they're more experienced, lake water coming from port huron is less corrosive, but the experiment that they did with this river water has messed up some of the infrastructure of the bio film in the inside of
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the pipes. we need to spend the money and go to detroit. >> how much? >> about $1.5 million to $2 million for 14 million to 18 million gallons a day, which we use. we have the money locally. people reaching out to the governor and to the federal people, but we need to spend locally and they will reimburse us. the emergency manager made a decision. so the sit is culpable and liable. >> why do you think the governor took so long to act on rising lead levels, and is the state accountable to everyone affected who has had medical problems since? >> well, i think in the long run they might very well could be. the lead can cause irreversible, permanent damage for kids under five, and i'm here to tell you that the deq, which enforces epa
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standards, the emergency manager, the governor of the state, i'm suspicious of their testing. until virginia take came in and hurley medical center and the medical community came in it was like the wolf guarding the hen house. i was suspicious of the city's testing. >> i'm listening to you, and i'm thinking why has it taken so long for government to address the situation that is critical for the health of the community? >> um, i call it negligence. i call it looking at money rather than quality of water. it has come to a head. i'm very thankful to you, john, and your network and others who are making it a national story. the more exposure we get, the more people will take action. we've been protesting since the wintertime. >> councilman, we'll continue to follow the story. we appreciate you joining us
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tonight. >> thank you, and god bless. >> you thank you very much. washington, d.c. could soon become the first city in the country to mandate paid family leave time. a bill introduced in the district council today would require employees to offer 16 weeks of off--that is 16 weeks off with pay to most workers. the benefit would be available to new parents and those caring for a sick family member. they would be paid a maximum of $3,000 a week. the money comes from a new business tax of up to 1% of the employees wages. now to the presidential race. hillary clinton's ad was released today. she takes aim of the g.o.p. specifically the house republicans investigation into the bengahzi attacks. michael shure has that story. >> hillary clinton's first national television ad is a preemptive strike. it comes a week ahead of the first democratic debate, and two weeks before she's on the hot
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seat as the house special committee on bengahzi. >> the republicans finally admit it. >> republicans kevin mccarthy saying that the committee was created to destroy her candidate did i. >> they unleashed the ad pouncing on a recent comment by kevin mccarthy, the man likely to be the new house speaker. >> everyone thought hillary clinton was unbeatable, right? we put together a bengahzi special committee, a select committee. what are her numbers today? her numbers are dropping, why? because she's untrustible. but no one would have known that any of that had happened. >> i agree. >> clinton supporters said it all along, the investigation into the deadly attack on the american embassy in bengahzi is all about partisan politics. in recent days clinton has gone on offense over the bengahzi probe. >> look at the situation they
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chose to exploit, the death of four americans in bengahzi. >> her aggressive stance comes after months of scrutiny of other use of a private server while secretary of state. >> you think abou so much about what their own guy said. that's the strategy that she's trying to play. >> clinton has been losing ground in polls. this ad not only hits the g.o.p. but is meant to rally those voters who began ready for hillary and is recently ready for hilly to fight back. michael shure, al jazeera, washington. >> clinton could soon have another contender to deal with. joe biden, a source close to the biden family said fear of losing will not affect the vice president's decision. the vice president is mourning the loss of his eldest son.
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biden, who has run twice before has not yet said if he'll enter the race. one of the biggest publishers in the u.s. is learning a valuable lesson. mcgraw-hill said it will revise and reprint a text book that refers to african-american slaves as workers and suggested that the u.s. slave trade was a form of immigration. a texas team spotted the inaccuracy and they took action. >> ninth grade geography text book got his attention for the wrong reason. >> they had slaves as workers implying that we came here willingly and were paid to do our jobs. >> they referred to african slaves as workers. he texted his mother a photo of thissage and this message. >> we were really heard workers, weren't we. >> immediately she put it on facebook.
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furious about what was in the book and what was left out. >> there is no mention of african working as slaves or being slaves. it just says that we were workers. >> her message went viral and forced the publisher mcgraw hill education to say we made a mistake. and changed the wording to describe the accrual of african slaves in the u.s. as a forced migration. nearly 140,000 of these text books are in texas used in a quarter of the state's school districts. >> slavery was not the best part of history. it was not a happy story. but it was, in fact, something that did happen. it contributed to the success of america today. >> the book had been vetted and repeatedly checked by texas review panels but the publisher said that no one noticed the passage, which troubles this mother. >> all of these stories, i'm really wondering how they're being told outside of world geography. this is the first step in high
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school history, so now what is the u.s. history book look like? >> they're offering a lesson of their own. jonathan betz, al jazeera. >> imagine a college without classrooms? classes without lectures. dormitories in different cities around the world every semester. all that is the beginning of what makes a new university so unique. america tonight adam may reports on the minerva project. >> minerva, still in the first year of operation, is a new online university that aims to compete with the nation's most elite schools. founding dean stephen koslin joined the start up after a lifetime in the ivy league. >> i don't think students are effectively educated. i don't think they're being given tools for life. i don't think they're acquiring what we think of here is the great cognitive tools that allow them to succeed. >> he may have a point. one recent study of a sample
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group of undergraduates found that 45% demonstrated no significant improvement in criminal thinking and complex reasoning after their first two years of college. a world challenges neuroscientist and former chair of psychology at harvard. cosslyn said that minerva does not peach matthew and biology. instead first year students take courses with titles like former analysis and complex systems designed to teach critical thinking skills rather than content. the technology is designed to compel students to participate. >> you actually see the full video of the class. you see all the times that anyone spoke, anyone typed anything. you can filter down and say i only want to see when people have talked for more than ten seconds. i want to see when people raise their lands.
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>> intriguing technology but still experimental. >> do you have concrete data that shows that this type of method of teach something working? >> we have some of the specific practices we use work extremely well. but other ones we don't know yet. >> turning down berkeley and ucla to join minerva's founding class. >> i can take classes from anywhere. i visited a few friends at other schools. >> the university isn't completely online. the 27 freshman classmates live in this argument building. it's their version of a dorm and the only campus these students have. tuition is $10,000 a year. room and board, $18,000. that's half the price of an average private college. >> we do claim that we're a solution. right now the battle of ideas, it's not about the substance of
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education. it's not about the substance of the student experience. when universities engage in that battle again, then that is going to be what will not just save but elevate american hire education. >> adam play, al jazeera, san francisco. >> you can see more of adam's report on america tonight at 10:00 p.m. eastern. the united auto workers say workers will strike if a new contract is not in place by tomorrow night at midnight. they rejected a four-year contract extension. they want to end a two-tier pay structure where workers easter earn less than veterans. they also want back the the benefits they gave up. the cheating scandal. the company's investments are at
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risk. also said that the vw will accelerate cost cutting measures whether that means job cuts remains to be seen. fines, lawsuits and recalls could cost vw tens of billions of dollars. coming up next, the mobster depicted in "black mass." the real james whitey bulger.
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>> new york's attorney general has opened an inquiry in the business of online fantasy sports. the questions of how fair the sites are and whether employees have used inside information to win big. john henry smith reports. >> an employee for the daily fantasy sports website draft kings has admitted to inadvertently releasing data before week three games. that employee won $350,000 as fan duel that same week. they said there is no evidence that the employee, who has not been fired, used that information to win that prize money. both draft kings and fan duel released the joint statement stating, quote:
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>> the incident has raised concerns about the fairness of the loosely regulated fantasy sports industry. gamers say chances of actual players or other pro sports personnel profiting were insider information is slim. they spoke to al jazeera's ray suarez. >> throwing games and things like that, that is reduced by fantasy sports where players are selected as opposed to team outcomes. >> new jersey congressman has called for an investigation into whether these fantasy sites are actually unregulated online gambling. >> how is it any different from sports betting. i don't see it. because you call it fantasy? >> now you can't go a day without seeing these ads.
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it has a lot of people looking up and saying what's going on here. >> the two companies have temporarily banned their employees from playing fantasy games on other sites. they were already banned from playing on their employers' sites. >> now to an unexpected result between the u.s. and cuba. more cubans are risking their lives to get to florida. antonio mora with more on that. >> confusion about the wet foot-dry foot policy in place for 50 years may be leading to this surge. that policy gives preferential treatment to cubans living on u.s. soil, but the policy is going to end as the two countries reconnect diplomatly. >> smugglers exploited that rumor and told cubans, if you're
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thinking about going, you better go now or you're going to miss your opportunity to get into the united states. we know that they're doing that. we've been told that. >> we'll speak with a representative of catholic charities about their effort to help the people who have made it to the united states. >> can be so dangerous for those people making that trip. >> a lot of people doing it. >> thank you. whitey bulger, one of the most notorious mobsters in history. we talk with author t.j. english. >> whitey bulger is a mob boss who ruled from the mid 70s to the mid 90s until he was tipped off by his contacts in the fbi that he was about to be arrested, and then he went on the run. he was on the run for 16 years.
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well, he had a couple of advantages that gangsters in the under world don't normally have. for one thing, his brother was senator william bulger, billy bulger, as he's known. his political career was in the sentencing and politics at the same time that whitey's career was in the criminal under world. bulger had another advantage that nobody knew about at the time. that was that he was a confident informant for the fbi. he was trading information for the fbi while out on the streets. they were passing information onto him about his rivals that occasionally led to him committing murders, and ostensibly he was feeding information to them that was helping to make convictions against the mafia. the problem is that these relationships between agents and informants are allowed to exist
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in a very murky kind of gray area. when he first went on the run there was some doubt whether the fbi really wanted to catch him because of what he knew and might say about his relationship with the criminal justice system. it took 16 years for the fbi to capture whitey bulger. i think the mystery about whitey is the degree by which he was enabled by the system, and who the players were in that enabling. the fact that only one person has ever been held accountable over what took place over those years is really extraordinary. what they were concerned about is how do we protect our assets? how do we protect our informants and make sure that their identities are not revealed, and they're kept out there on the streets. >> his book "where the bodies were buries: whitey bulger and the world that made him." i'm john seigenthaler. we'll be back here tomorrow.
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the news will continue with antonio mara. don't go away. >>
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major mistake - to be clear, the decision to provide fires was a u.s. decision made within the u.s. chain of command. >> the top u.s. general in afghanistan commits to a full investigation into a deadly strike on an afghan hospital russian reprimand. >> i will not speculate on the motives, i will just reiterate or restate that this is